How to Cope with a Family Member’s Addiction

It is never easy to handle the fact that a family member may have an addiction that could be tearing the family apart not to mention harming the physical well-being of the person with the addiction. When creating its drug and rehabilitation programs, the Narconon Fresh Start program has been guided by the objective to help participants recover and assist in healing families for a happier life for all involved. There are a number of ways to cope:

  • Seek advice from counselors or therapists: It can be emotionally draining to deal with a family member’s addiction and it can leave you upset, angry, and confused. You may not know what to say or how to handle it let alone deal with your own feelings, which could run the gamut from guilt to anger. Going to see a counselor or therapist and getting their advice can help you to cope and handle the situation appropriately so you do not hurt your family member and make the situation worse.
  • Emotionally support your family member: Do not desert your family member in their time of crisis. Whether they have admitted they have an addiction or not, give them love and be there when they need you even they do not show you that love in return. Like the Narconon Fresh Start philosophy maintains, it is important to remember that they are not themselves when addicted to drugs or alcohol and that the lovable person is still lurking inside somewhere.
  • Have an intervention: Show some tough love by staging an intervention where you gather friends and family together with the addict and tell them how you all feel and encourage them to seek professional help. These kind of tactics do often backfire so be prepared for the intervention to be challenging. Often, these are best done right before taking them directly to a rehabilitation center.
  • Support a rehabilitation visit: Whether that means financial support or emotional support, a family member who chooses to seek rehabilitation should be encouraged for their efforts. It is important to give them the space to deal with the issues that have led them to addiction. That’s why some centers like the Narconon Fresh Start program ask that family members not contact loved ones in treatment during the first few weeks.  This starts the healing process for both the addict and you.
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